By David Gallup
In the style of Garry Davis' blogs in which he "interviewed" water, space and sleep, for this New Year's blog, I interview time.
Me: Hey, Time, wait up! Slow down! (running out of breath)
Time: Sorry, no can do. There's no time like the present. (keeping a steady pace)
Me: I guess I have to catch up.
Time: You're already here!
Me: Oh. (dumbfounded)
Time: I'm all around you and everyone else. We're all in the same actuality. (smiling and looking beyond the horizon)
Me: I never thought about you that way. Could I talk to the past?
Time: No, that's prologue.
Me: How about the future?
Time: You are what you make of it.
Me: Stop using trite expressions!
Time: Sorry, I think that's what you humans most easily understand.
Me: What's so important about the present, anyway?
Time: That is all you've got. The here and now. This is what most humans forget. You're always thinking about the future, how you will make your life better, or succeed over others. Or, you lament the past -- what you could have done differently, how you failed.
It's as if you purposefully close your eyes to sleep through what's happening in the space-time around you. Awareness is now. Ignorance is holding on to past regrets and obsessing over future resolutions.
Now's the me (Time, of course!) that you had better focus on, if you want to have more of me later. The ways that you humans interact, tells me that you are running out of me! I am of the essence -- for you to imagine and build the world that works for everyone.
Don't be armchair activists, saying that you are for world peace and global justice in some utopian future, and hoping that others will act on your dreams. Claim your world peacemaker status right now. You make peace, you create the tools to help each other live together harmoniously, but only if you choose this path below your feet, recognizing the one earth on which you are currently standing.
Me: I'm getting it. Now is where we are and what we must keep our mind focused on. We're all in the now. We share it. We share responsibility for it, for you. We're our own historians in every action that we take or every refusal to act that we allow.
Time: You're catching on, in the nick of me!
Me: We need to focus on each other, on our earthly home to make it work now, not in some distant future, not based upon some nostalgic past, not watching the clock, but by being and doing. I am a Nowist. We all are. We don't need any time to realize that.
Time: Carpe diem! Time to go!
Me: Are you going?
Time: Aren't you listening to me? I'm not going anywhere. But you get going! There's none of me to waste.
Me: Thank you for all that timely advice. And, see ya later!
Time: No . . . Now! (exasperated)
According to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the earth's Doomsday Clock is hovering at 3 minutes to midnight. This figurative late hour is the scientists' way of explaining that in a 24 hour clock of earthly existence, humans are living on borrowed time. Global warming, oceans rising, violence, uncontrolled technology, and potential nuclear devastation have imperiled our chances of survival, leaving us with only a final few minutes before the end of time. The last time that humanity was this close to extinction was in 1952 when the United States and the Soviet Union created and tested the first hydrogen bombs.
According to the physicists and other scientists who compose the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin, "Despite some modestly positive developments in the climate change arena, current efforts are entirely insufficient to prevent a catastrophic warming of Earth. Meanwhile, the United States and Russia have embarked on massive programs to modernize their nuclear triads -- thereby undermining existing nuclear weapons treaties. The clock ticks now at just three minutes to midnight because international leaders are failing to perform their most important duty -- ensuring and preserving the health and vitality of human civilization."
The fact that these scientists address their statement to "Leaders and Citizens of the World" confirms their understanding of the importance of world citizenship as it relates to the preservation of human civilization.
When scientists around the world warn us of global warming and the threat of nuclear winter, we should listen to them and not to those politicians who ignore the facts, figures, mathematics and the undeniable rules of the natural world.
The atomic scientists conclude that "The probability of global catastrophe is very high, and the actions needed to reduce the risks of disaster must be taken very soon."
Time would tell us that action needs to be taken, not just "very soon," but now. Tick tock.